The 2021 Nissan Navara Pro-4X is bolder, tougher, smarter than ever before
Nissan has taken the pick-up segment by storm once again by introducing the latest update on their best-selling Navara pick-up.
It’s just in time to join the fray in the hotly-contested pick-up segment and doing battle against a revitalized Ford Ranger just released a few weeks prior and the latest 2021 Toyota Hilux Conquest which has also seen some improvements. And let’s not forget the all-new Isuzu D-Max which was also introduced to the local market last month and the upcoming all-new Mazda BT-50, scheduled for release in the second half of 2021.
The Navara sports an all new, bolder and more aggressive front fascia: the grill ties it closer to its famous American cousin, the Titan full-size pick-up. A bigger, more voluminous hood gives it a more muscular stance, and the matrix-design multi-projector LED headlamps with C-shaped LED DRL’s give it sophistication and futuristic style uncommon in this segment. The aforementioned LED headlights have an automatic switching function: in pitch black conditions, the headlights automatically activate high-beam, but as soon as light from incoming traffic is detected, it automatically switches to low-beam. Less things to think about, making your night drive smoother, easier and more relaxed.
Other physical changes include a pick-up bed that’s an inch taller to allow for more cargo volume, a rear drum brake that’s also an inch bigger for better fade resistance under heavy load, and revised suspension geometry and kinematics to improve ride comfort and refinement. There are new wheels and wheel flares for the range-topping Pro-4X model and the Navara gets a new tailgate spring assist system that’s meant to significantly ease effort when opening and closing it. Revised rear bumpers also smoothen airflow at highway speeds to reduce wind noise.
Of particular interest are the new dual-rate coil springs which give the already unique coil-sprung Navarra an even softer, more luxurious ride, comparable even to luxury SUV’s. But the Navara retains its 1-ton bed payload capacity. Independent tests abroad have shown the Navara to withstand easily over 1.1 tons. The Navarra also has new 18-inch shod with all-terrain tires for the top-tier variants, allowing it to go further, easier and more confidently.
Inside, a new steering wheel catches your attention, which looks like it suits a sports car more than a pick-up. The quilted and stitched Zero-Gravity seats are not just a design piece, but offer functional comfort and support while keeping your backside cool on long drives, and during intense off-roading adventures. And with Nissan’s latest around-view / 360-degree / bird’s eye-view cameras, off-roading adventures will be more intense, exciting but also done so more confidently as the front and side facing cameras allow you to accurately position the Navarra in tight and tricky trails, plus steep ascents and descents. Of course, when you’re stuck in traffic, the eight-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto will keep you relaxed and refreshed. A slew of active safety equipment keeps you aware of your surroundings and your driving at all times too: blind-spot monitoring, lane departure warning, rear-cross traffic alert and forward collision mitigation with autonomous emergency braking helps prevent, or at least minimize frontal collision damage.
Powertrain remains the same, with the YD25DDTI turbocharged common-rail direct injected diesel engine delivering 190ps and 450 Newton-Meters of torque. A six-speed manual or a seven-speed automatic are your transmission choices, driving either the rear wheels, or all four with a switch-on-the-fly four-wheel drive system, a low-range transfer case and a locking rear differential.
Nissan generously allowed members of the motoring media for a short test-drive of the Navara around a make-shift off-road short-course at a construction site in the Bay Reclamation Area. A variety of obstacles were set-up to highlight the Navara’s ride comfort, chassis rigidity, individual wheel / axle articulation, flood fording ability and ease of use. The tight course made full-use of the Navara’s around-view cameras, and the axle-twister section showed just how rigid the Navara’s chassis was while allowing each wheel to flex, articulate and keep in contact with the ground as much as possible even during extreme angles. With the Vehicle Dynamics Control attuned to off-road performance, tackling the various obstacles went by smoothly. The most impressive obstacle was the artificial hill which would have you stop right before the summit; it’s scary as you see practically straight-up! This test is designed to highlight use how smooth and effective the Hill-Start Assist software is and it inched up forward from a dead stop at an incline of roughly 38-degrees if not more. After we reach the summit, we inch forward and come again to a dead stop right at the start of the descent, this time to test the hill descent control. As expected, the Navara descended very smoothly and confidently.
Hopefully we’ll get the chance to try out the new Navara on the open road again soon! Tough and smart, the latest Nissan Navara definitely has the goods to win the invigorated pick-up wars.
A car enthusiast through and through, Botchi Santos believes that different people have different needs. He tries to find the best car for a specific audience, and spruces things up by delving into car culture, helping make the local car community vibrant and enjoyable for all. His passion for motoring is built around a belief that cars are among the top three life purchases.